This manual is for Aardvark Topsites PHP 5.2.x. Manuals for other versions:
5.2.x | 5.1.x | 5.0.x | 4.2.x | 4.1.x | 4.0.x | 3.2.x
When Google and other search engines see links pointing to topsites lists, they see in.php?u=1 as a different URL than in.php?u=2. Therefore, topsites lists traditionally do not get ranked as highly as they deserve.
Aardvark Topsites PHP 5 introduced a feature called Google-friendly links. When this feature is enabled, your members will be given code that links directly to your topsites list. Instead of http://www.example.com/topsites/index.php?a=in&u=username, the links will look like http://www.example.com/topspites/. That way, your topsites list becomes a powerful search engine marketing tool because of all those links.
The problem with direct links is that, when someone clicks the link, the script cannot immediately know what the username of the site is. Normally, the username is passed to the script by a URL like in.php?u=username. When Google-friendly links are enabled, Aardvark Topsites PHP will attempt to determine the username based on referer URL. In other words, if http://www.site1.com/ joins and puts the button on http://www.site1.com/home.html, the link will be counted fine. However, if http://www.site1.com/ puts their button on an external site (a hosted forum, for example), then their hits in will not be counted. Some overly-restrictive firewalls block referer URLs. The script will not be able to count hits in from people with these types of firewalls.
Hits in is the only statistic that is affected by Google-friendly links. Hits out and pageviews will still be counted normally.
The ultimate results of Google-friendly links are slightly depressed statistics for hits in and dramatically increased popularity in search engines.